Legendary French fashion designer Pierre Cardin has died this Tuesday at the age of 98.
Cardin is credited with helping the fashion revolution with his futuristic designs from the late 1960s and ‘70s.
He was also a pioneer in business diversification, licensing his name on other products such as sunglasses.
He died in a hospital in Neuilly, near Paris, his family told AFP.
Innovative and revolutionary
Pietro Cardin, of French parents, was born in Italy in 1922. He was the youngest of 11 children.
After Mussolini came to power, his family fled to France. His parents wanted him to be an architect, but his interests were fashion and design since childhood.
Cardin learned the business from him as a tailor and worked alongside the Red Cross during the Nazi Vichy rule in France.
Cardin carved her own path within the fashion industry.
Parisian haute couture had always been exclusive, and its staunch defenders believed that it should be high-end, personalized, and costly.
Cardin broke the schemes. He launched collections of “ready-to-wear” garments, bringing haute couture to the middle classes. This then generated rejection within the designers of the time.
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In the 1950s, young men wore traditional costumes that made them look like their fathers. But Cardin scrapped these designs and created a revolutionary look for the new and progressive generations.
Gone are the voluminous details; collars, lapels, skirts, and cuffs. The trousers were tapered and hung loosely at the hips.
Suddenly, the young people had another identity of their own and did not look at all like their parents. The Beatles, among others, quickly recognized Cardin as someone with “a step beyond tomorrow.“
Cardin expanded into women’s fashion, restaurants, perfumes, and furniture.
He established global licensing agreements that put his name on everything from ballpoint pens to luxury watches.
By 2018, the man who was once the youngest designer in Paris had become the oldest.
But even in his 90s, Pierre Cardin was still putting models on the runways, looking for new ways to capture the future before it exists.
“The clothes that I prefer are those that I invent for a life that does not yet exist, the world of tomorrow,” he once said.
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